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San Francisco Suicide Data and Statistics

Throughout the United States, approximately seven percent of suicide survivors will eventually die by suicide. An additional 23 percent will make further attempts, but will survive, while 70 percent will never reattempt.

FINDINGS

  • Throughout the United States, there are approximately 1.4 million suicide attempts each year, of which just over 40,000 result in death.
  • In San Francisco, approximately 100 people die by suicide each year, compared to an estimated 3,497 who attempt suicide.
  • Studies have found that, in the United States, “approximately 7 percent (range: 5-11 percent) of attempters eventually died by suicide, approximately 23 percent reattempted non-fatally, and 70 percent had no further attempts”.
  • Based on the above data, it is estimated that about 238 San Franciscan suicide survivors will eventually die as a result of suicide.

YOUR RESEARCH TEAM APPLIED THE FOLLOWING SEARCH STRATEGY

In attempting to locate San Francisco-specific statistics for this report, we started by reviewing medical and scientific research studies on the topics of mental health and suicide, from publications such as the Harvard School of Public Health and Plos One. While we were unable to identify many studies published in the past two years, we were able to find nationwide suicide and mental health statistics by expanding our search to the past five years.
Following our unsuccessful to identify recent data pertaining specifically to San Francisco, we turned instead to non-profit and similar organizations focused on helping to prevent suicide and help survivors to recover. Some examples of the websites reviewed include SAVE and AFSP. While this strategy provided a number of reports concerning nationwide data, as well as some reports focused on California’s more general suicide rates and statistics, we were unable to find any data showing the number of suicide reattempts in San Francisco specifically.
Next, we turned our research to government reports from sites such as the CDC in the hope that specific information or data on suicide reattempts in San Francisco may be available there. Again, however, while we were able to find a great deal of information and resources concerning nation- and statewide suicide statistics, no data existed concerning the number of suicide reattempts in San Francisco, or even in California specifically.

CALCULATIONS

Finally, as a result of our lack of success in finding data on this topic specific to San Francisco, we calculated an estimate utilizing the available information. Specifically, we began by estimating the number of unsuccessful suicide attempts in San Francisco utilizing nationwide data. We found that, in the United States, there are approximately 1,400,000 suicide attempts each year, of which just over 40,000 people complete suicide. This means that only 2.86 percent of suicide attempts in the United States are successful (calculated utilizing a percentage calculator). We then learned that there are approximately 100 deaths-by-suicide in San Francisco each year. Knowing that only 2.86 percent of suicide attempts result in death, we determined what 100 is 2.86 percent of in order to ascertain the number of suicide attempts per year in San Francisco. Specifically, we divided 100 by .0286, which showed us that, assuming the same percentages apply, there are approximately 3,496.5 suicide attempts each year in San Francisco.
We then applied nationwide statistics which show that approximately seven percent of suicide survivors eventually die by suicide to these findings, in order to determine an estimate of how many suicide survivors in San Francisco go on to successfully complete suicide. Specifically, we began by subtracting the number of completed suicides (100) from the number of attempted suicides (3,496.5) to find that annually, 3,396.5 people in San Francisco survive a suicide attempt. We calculated seven percent of 3,396.5 using the aforementioned percentage calculator, and found that approximately 237.8 suicide survivors will go on to complete suicide in the following months or years in San Francisco.

San Francisco Mental Health Data and Statistics

MOST COMMON MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS

  • While data was unavailable on the most common mental health conditions in San Francisco specifically, we have been able to find this information globally. These conditions include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other psychoses (combined), and dementia.

Depression

  • With more than 300 million people currently diagnosed with depression, this condition “is the most-common mental disorder”.
  • Depression typically impacts more women than men, and is the result of a variety of factors including the level of serotonin in the brain, as well as “genetics, life events, medical problems and medications”.
  • While no official data exists on the number of people in San Francisco who are diagnosed with depression, we were able to calculate an estimate based on the fact that approximately 6.7 percent of the United States adult population is effected by the condition. Given San Francisco’s estimated population of 883,305, there are approximately 59,181 people in San Francisco diagnosed with depression (calculated using a percentage calculator).

Anxiety

  • Anxiety is often experienced alongside depression, as a comorbidity.
  • Approximately 18.1 percent of the United States population — or 40 million adults in the country — suffer from anxiety.
  • Anxiety disorders develop from a multitude of factors, including genetics, brain chemistry and life events.”
  • While no official data exists on the number of people in San Francisco who are diagnosed with anxiety, we were able to calculate an estimate based on the fact that approximately 18.1 percent of the United States population is effected by the condition. Given San Francisco’s estimated population of 883,305, there are approximately 159,878 people in San Francisco diagnosed with anxiety (calculated using a percentage calculator).

Bipolar Disorder

  • There are approximately 60 million people throughout the world diagnosed with bipolar disorder, including about 2.8 percent of the United States population.
  • Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).”
  • While no official data exists on the number of people in San Francisco who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, we were able to calculate an estimate based on the fact that an estimated 2.8 percent of the United States adult population is effected by the condition. Given San Francisco’s estimated population of 883,305, there are approximately 24,733 people in San Francisco diagnosed with bipolar disorder (calculated using a percentage calculator).

Schizophrenia and Other Psychoses (Combined)

  • Psychoses, including schizophrenia, is a severe mental illness impacting about 23 million people worldwide and is characterized by distortions in thinking, perception, emotions, sense of self, and behavior.”
  • Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that affects less than one percent of the U.S. population,” and which includes symptoms such as “delusions, hallucinations, trouble with thinking and concentration, and lack of motivation”.
  • While no official data exists on the number of people in San Francisco who are diagnosed with schizophrenia, we were able to calculate an estimate based on the fact that less than one percent of the total population has been diagnosed with the condition. Given San Francisco’s estimated population of 883,305, there are fewer than 8,833 people in the city diagnosed with schizophrenia (calculated using a percentage calculator).

Dementia

  • There are about 50 million people worldwide diagnosed with dementia, which translates to about one percent of the population.
  • Dementia is generally chronic or progressive in nature and entails a deterioration of cognitive function beyond normal aging.”
  • While no official data exists on the number of people in San Francisco who are diagnosed with dementia, we were able to calculate an estimate based on the fact that about one percent of the total population has been diagnosed with the condition. Given San Francisco’s estimated population of 883,305, there are about 8,833 people in the city diagnosed with dementia (calculated using a percentage calculator).

MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS WITH THE HIGHEST RISK OF SUICIDE

  • The conditions identified below as having the highest risk of suicide have been chosen based on their appearance in various reports, studies, and articles on the subject of mental health and suicide. Because very few detailed studies have been done on this subject, identical statistics were not available for the conditions listed. As a result, the risk of suicide has been presented for some conditions (such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder), while for others the statistics simply show that the condition is one of the most common identified amongst suicide victims.

Schizophrenia

  • Between 10 and 13 percent of people suffering from schizophrenia eventually die by suicide.
  • An estimated minimum of 5,000 suicide deaths each year are attributed to people who had schizophrenia or bipolar disorder at the time of their deaths.
  • People with psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, are 12 times more likely to commit suicide than average.”
  • Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that affects less than one percent of the U.S. population,” and which includes symptoms such as “delusions, hallucinations, trouble with thinking and concentration, and lack of motivation”.
  • While no official data exists on the number of people in San Francisco who are diagnosed with schizophrenia, we were able to calculate an estimate based on the fact that less than one percent of the total population has been diagnosed with the condition. Given San Francisco’s estimated population of 883,305, there are fewer than 8,833 people in the city diagnosed with schizophrenia (calculated using a percentage calculator).

Bipolar Disorder

  • A full 15 percent of people suffering from bipolar disorder eventually die by suicide.
  • An estimated minimum of 5,000 suicide deaths each year are attributed to people who had schizophrenia or bipolar disorder at the time of their deaths.
  • People with psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, are 12 times more likely to commit suicide than average.”
  • It is estimated that 30 to 70 percent of deaths-by-suicide can be attributed to individuals who were suffering from either bipolar disorder or depression.
  • Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).”
  • While no official data exists on the number of people in San Francisco who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, we were able to calculate an estimate based on the fact that an estimated 2.8 percent of the United States adult population is effected by the condition. Given San Francisco’s estimated population of 883,305, there are approximately 24,733 people in San Francisco diagnosed with bipolar disorder (calculated using a percentage calculator).

Depression

  • Several studies have found that depression is one of the most common diagnoses in suicide victims (alongside substance abuse disorders).
  • It is estimated that 30 to 70 percent of deaths-by-suicide can be attributed to individuals who were suffering from either bipolar disorder or depression.
  • Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.”

Substance Abuse Disorder

  • Several studies have found that substance use disorders — primarily alcoholism — are among the most common diagnoses in suicide victims (alongside depression).
  • Substance use disorder occurs when a person’s use of alcohol or another substance (drug) leads to health issues or problems at work, school, or home.”
  • While no official data exists on the number of people in San Francisco who are diagnosed with substance use disorder, we were able to calculate an estimate based on the fact that approximately six percent of the United States population has been diagnosed with one. Given San Francisco’s estimated population of 883,305, there are approximately 53,427 people in San Francisco suffering from a substance abuse disorder such as alcoholism or drug addiction (calculated using a percentage calculator).
  • Substance use disorder has been identified as a significant problem in San Francisco specifically, alongside homelessness. This year, the city is considering a proposal for forced mental health treatment which “would allow a court to appoint a public conservator for someone who has been involuntarily detained for psychiatric hospitalization at least eight times in a year”.

San Francisco Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Spending

The government of San Francisco — via the city’s public health department — budgets about $400 million annually for mental health and substance abuse services.

  • San Francisco’s public health department “has budgeted nearly $400 million this year for mental health and substance abuse services”.
  • This budget is funded in part by a tax which was approved last year on “some of the city’s wealthiest companies to raise money for homeless and mental health services”.
  • While the City of San Francisco does not have any programs geared exclusively towards preventing suicide, the public health department’s mental health services programs include suicide prevention efforts.
  • Specifically, the organization funds crisis response services which provide “mobile response [and case management] to…suicides,” among other emergency situations.
  • The City of San Francisco is presently working on a project to build a barrier along the Golden Gate Bridge, designed to prevent people from completing suicide there. The project is being estimated at a cost of $211 million.
  • The barrier is expected to be completed in January of 2021.
  • The suicide net, which will be located 20 feet below the top deck on each side of the bridge and extend 20 feet out, seeks to address a longstanding suicide problem that has existed since the bridge’s opening in 1937.”
  • In addition to San Francisco’s government-funded mental health programs, the city is also home to the non-profit organization San Francisco Suicide Prevention, which has an annual budget of over $1 million dedicated entirely to suicide prevention efforts.

San Francisco Suicide Data and Statistics by Industry

INDUSTRIES WITH THE HIGHEST RATE OF SUICIDE

CONSTRUCTION AND EXTRACTION

DOCTORS

  • Recent studies have found that doctors are at one of the highest risks for suicide, when compared to other industries and professions. Additionally, members of this profession have a greater suicide risk than the general population.
  • On average, one doctor takes their own life every day in the United States.”
  • It’s estimated that between 300 and 400 doctors complete suicide each year in the United States. This means that doctors kill themselves at a rate of 28 to 40 per 100,000 doctors, which is double the rate of the general population.

ART & DESIGN, ENTERTAINMENT, SPORTS & MEDIA

  • The CDC found that, for women specifically, the industries carrying the greatest risk of suicide are “arts, design, entertainment, sports and media”.
  • “Women in arts, design, entertainment, sports and media had a suicide rate of 15.6 per 100,000 working people in 2015.” Of note, 2015 is the most recent data available from the CDC, which published their findings in 2018.
  • These industries were also found to pose the second-greatest risk of suicide the men, behind construction and extraction.
TDM

AUSTRALIAN WORK CULTURE

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